Gardening ~ Landscaping » MYO Upside Down Tomato Planter

MYO Upside Down Tomato Planter

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Have you seen those cute little tomato planters that hang upside down- the ones with the hefty price tag of $15-40!? Well, I loved the idea, hated the price so we decided to make our own. Here’s a very simple tutorial to MYO upside down tomato planter in ten minutes flat.

upside down tomato planter hanging in kitchen window

MYO Upside Down Tomato Planter

You’ll Need:
1 Large Planter
Drill with 1 1/2- 2″ bit
1 Tomato Seedling (per planter)
Herb Seeds (for the top)
Planting/ Potting Mix
Coffee filters or weed-free fabric (small square with an x- cut into it)

First, you’ll need a large hanging planter. The one pictured here is from Lowes and was $2.

hanging plant pot

Depending on the size of your seedling, choose your drill bit size. Here we used a 1 1/2″ drill bit.

drilling hole in hanging plant pot
Line the hole with several coffee filters or a small piece of “weed-free” fabric. This prevents the soil from dropping through when watering.

Carefully insert the seedling into the bottom of the hole, this is considerably easier if you have a helper. I didn’t – which is why you don’t have a photo of it! Cut a coffee filter in half and place half on each side of the seedling stem, to prevent soil from falling through the hole.

Add potting soil. Plant the herb seeds on the top; I planted basil, rosemary, and parsley. After a few days, the seedling will start to turn to grow Upwards towards the light. Hang it in a very well-lit area of your home. If you’re making hangers to leave outdoors, drill several small drainage holes into the bottom of the planting bowl.

upside down tomato planter hanging in kitchen window

You can also use 3 or 5-gallon pails as planters.

5/30/2011 **UPDATE* Here’s a shot of the tomatoes 5 weeks later! This planter is outside at the moment so that the bees can pollinate the flowers which really isn’t a problem because most tomato varieties are actually self-pollinating! Notice the nice fat tomatoes on the bottom, they’re still green, but getting there!

homemade upside down tomato planter

If you start tomatoes in mid to late August, you’ll have delicious fresh tomatoes before Christmas. Use your existing tomato plants to propagate free tomato plants and extend the growing season. These make lovely, well-received gifts, particularly in colder areas. Just ensure that your plants are getting plenty of light from a nice window location so growth isn’t stunted.

If you want to increase production, use banana peels as fertilizer!

Did you know? There are over 7,000 varieties of tomatoes in the world.

Benefits of Growing Upside Down Tomato Plants

1.  Higher Yield– An upside-down tomato plant usually produces more fruit than a conventional plant.

2. Easier to harvest – the upside down plant makes it easy to reach and pick the fruit.

3. Fewer pests and diseases – Upside down plants are less prone to pests, diseases, and fungi.

4. Better air circulation – downward facing plants have better air circulation, which helps to prevent diseases.

5. More compact – Because upside down plants are more compact, they take up less space than their upright counterparts.

6. Versatile – You can use upside-down tomato plants in a variety of ways, including planting them in hanging baskets or using them as topiaries.

7. Fun – growing upside down plants is a fun way to garden, and it’s a great way to get children interested in gardening.

8. Beautiful – Inverted plants add beauty and interest to any garden.

9. Healthier Tomatoes– Tomatoes will be less likely to rot because they are kept off the ground and out of contact with dirt.

10. Low maintenance – upside-down plants require very little maintenance, which makes them perfect for busy gardeners.

upside down tomato planter hanging in kitchen window
cropped b101 header logo

DIY Upside Down Tomato Planter by Melissa 'Liss' Burnell
Create your own upside down tomato planter for less than $5
Active Time 10 mins
Resting Time 0 mins
0 mins
Total Time 10 mins


  • Hanging Plant Pot (or 5 Gallon Pail)
  • 1 1/2 inch Drill Bit & Drill
  • Coffee Filters (or weed-free fabric)


  • Potting Soil
  • Tomato Seedling


  • Flip the plant pot over and drill a hole in the bottom.
  • Line the hole with several coffee filters (or weed free fabric) with an "X" cut into them to allow the seedling to be fed through the hole.
  • Carefully insert the seedling into the bottom of the hole.
  • Add potting soil. Plant additional herb seeds on the top
  • Hang it in a very well-lit area of your home or patio.

Equipment & Materials

Hanging Plant Pot (or 5 Gallon Pail)
1 1/2 inch Drill Bit & Drill
Coffee Filters (or weed-free fabric)

The information on this DIY site is for general informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or effectiveness of the content shared. The site owner and authors are not liable for any damages or injuries. Use the information at your own risk and seek professional advice when needed.

Tried this idea?Mention @Budget101com or tag #Budget101com!

Delicious Tomato Recipes

Since you now have an abundance of delicious, fresh tomatoes, here are several recipes to enjoy that bounty!

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32 thoughts on “MYO Upside Down Tomato Planter”

  1. cool !!! love this idea

    its been more than a month since you posted this…. how are your plants doing now ? any problems and solutions ?
    i wonder if this idea could be used indoors for wintertime herbs ?

    • COOL !!! LOVE this idea

      Its been more than a month since you posted this…. How are your plants doing now ? Any problems and solutions ?
      I wonder if this idea could be used indoors for wintertime herbs ?

      They’re doing wonderfully, thank you for reminding me to add an “Update” photo shot! The plant now has several nice sized tomatoes on it. I nearly forgot to add that in order for it to pollinate, you’ll need to place it outdoors or pollinate the flowers yourself with a q-tip!

      It also got a LOT bigger than I had intended, since I used 2 small plants, rather than 1.

      • So the plant goes through a hole in the filter?? O does it bend around the filter? Or roots grow through the filter?

        Please clarify!

        Great idea-I have seen these for peppers, wonder about the viney plants like cukes.

  2. yes, this is a great idea, but a word of warning. make sure the planter you use has sturdy hanging support, not the thin wires or plastic like is used in the per-planted flower baskets sold at home improvement stores and such. i used a 3 gallon bucket and with the weight of the soil and a large plant with tomatoes and water the handle broke and the whole thing fell.

    I intend to do this again, but I will support the pot from the bottom when I hang it and use a light weight potting soil.

    I am also going to try it with cucumbers.

  3. i like the idea of using the flower planter. i have some i saved and will be trying this in the spring. i like this much better than the 5 gallon bucket hangers and I love the idea of planting the herbs on the top.

    Double duty planting!

  4. i love this idea and wll be giving it a try in the spring!! one question though, how do you pollinate them with a q-tip? i have never heard of having to do this.

    of course i am a beginner so i am still learning 🙂 that brings me to another question… i am very much wanting to try to grow a year round indoor potted vegie garden… do other plants need this q-tip pollination?

    and do you have any tips or tricks that may help me with this adventure?
    thanks for your info this is a great starter for me!!!

  5. these are very nice and easy to do. unfortunately my squirrels liked it as well. think i got one tomatoes,they got the rest

  6. my husband and i own a produce stand, and this is the perfect addition to hang around the eaves of our building. thanks for the idea!! 🙂

  7. i did this last year and used a bucket instead to allow for the big roots that the tomatoes made. still works exactly the same. i used a bucket that had a small hole in the bottom that i just made bigger and the handle of the bucket makes it to hang anywhere easily.


  8. i would love to grow herbs but i have a poison thumb when it comes to growing them and they always die grrrrr ! can this upside planter work for herbs and can this be done indoors for the winter?

  9. i noticed several comments regarding tomato pollination some of which have a bit of truth but also a significant bit of misleading information. if i understand it correctly the blossom is pollinated mostly by being shaken around mostly by wind, by insects that land and take off (even sometimes by bees) or you could do it by tapping the blossom with your finger.

    so if your plant is growing indoors, just tap the blossoms when they are in full bloom or i might suggest having an oscillating fan blow on them for a few minutes every day when there are blossoms present. my disclaimer is that i have not tried this i’m only theorizing.

  10. i have seen your variety used successfully several times . the last comment about planting for christmas – it would be nice if geography was used. not everything works well universally.

  11. i love this. i’ve used the store bought ones, but i can’t wait to try this! the concept seems to work with them, so should work well with this version!

  12. i just started experimenting with gardening. i love this idea! i just planted my tomatoes and they are about three inches tall can i still do this.

    and how do i separate the tomatoes plants without hurting them.

  13. Brilliant idea. I’m looking forward to doing this with my 9 year old grandson when he visits this summer. With the herbs as well as tomatoes, we’ll be able to create some fabulous dishes since he’s interested in learning to cook.

    Thanks Liss!

  14. Hi, I noticed some of you have problems with pest like birds and squirrels. At the $1.00 store they have rubber snakes. Tie some clear fishing line to a snake and tie it on or at least move it ever so often.

    It works for grass seed to but don’t get the ones that looks like poisonous snakes in your area.

  15. Hello, I am new to Budget101 and love the site with all the great people on here. I have been using the upside down garden techniques for about 7 years and I use the 5 gallon buckets only cause I am able to use more plants and get a better yield. With the 5 gallon buckets you can drill 5 holes and you are able to use about 2 plants per hole.

    When you place the plants in the hole please take care and push the plants leaves through and not the root system. I have killed plants pushing the roots through and have discovered that the leaves will heal and grow back. Also keep it watered.

    I do love the ideal of using a smaller hanging basket to save space. Great ideal and concept. Thank you all for allowing me to be here.

  16. I have planted tomatoes recently in the regular way. If I’d seen this post earlier I would have definitely tried it. But truly, it is a whole new technique I have learned today.


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